welcome to the black parade

i’ve been having weird dreams lately, nightmares of paranoia. of dark dingy detention cells, mind-wrecking physical and mental torture, political repression of the worst kind. of being torn away from my loved ones. of being tracked down. of being buried alive.

i figure i must be reading too much Martial Law era literature. i’m recently re-reading Levy Balgos dela Cruz’ “Bukal sa Tubig at Apoy,” a compilation of short stories mostly set during the heydeys of Marcos’ martial law. i read the book in college and lately, while sorting through my still-unpacked box of books, i saw my dusty copy and got re-acquainted with the ‘dark days’

not that i need a book like “Bukal…” to re-live and have a sneak peek at martial rule. recent turns of events are enough to make martial law veterans turn in their sleep, their nightmares surely more vivid and poignant than mine. i somehow envy Sir Monico Atienza, an FQS veteran and present-day fighter, in his deep, deep slumber. he is finally at peace, oblivious to all the horrors of today’s de facto martial rule. his life-support system will be unplugged later today.

painful as it sounds, good for him that it is highly unlikely that he will experience the full brunt of something as sinister as the Human Security Act of 2007 or the anti-terror law. bless him.


“Seven years from now everything you do will be recorded.”

saw the film adaptation of A Scanner Darkly, a sci-fi novel by Philip K. Dick. i have yet to read the novel but i liked the film, direction and screenplay by Richard Linklater, immensely.

the film is an animation released by warner bros last July 2006. the protagonist, Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves), is a drug user who lives in the slum areas of Anaheim, California. he lives with other heavy-user housemates Barris (Robert Downey Jr), Luckman (Woody Harrelson) and Freck (Rory Cochrane).

unknown to his ‘friends’, Bob is undercover agent Fred who is assigned to spy on them. Bob shields his identity by adopting their ‘lifestyle’ until he himself eventually becomes addicted to the drug Substance D and becomes head over heels in love with Donna Hawthorne (Winona Ryder), a fellow user of Substance D and cocaine. due to Bob/Fred’s heavy use of Substance D, he soon develops cognitive problems and becomes unable to distinguish his roles as drug user and agent.

the plot of the film (and perhaps the novel — reviews profess that the screenplay remained loyal to the book) may seem mighty confusing at first with all the drug-induced dialogue and schizophrenic twists but becomes more interesting as the story progresses. the highlight of the film is undeniably the part when Hank, Fred’s superior officer, turns out to be Donna (who is an undercover ‘inside’ an undercover agent for a greater police operation out to prove that the force itself is responsible for large-scale manufacturing of Substance D. whew!).

the movie was filmed first digitally and with actual live actors and THEN animated using cel-shading with an interpolated rotoscope. astig! imagine real-live actors in actual sets perfectly and meticulously animated to appear as 3-d images that are ‘true-to-life’ yet eerily surreal in effect. it took 18 months to finish the whole project!


“Seven years from now everything you do will be recorded.”

apart from the mind-boggling plot and high-tech animation, what struck me was how the film is also a political commentary on police surveillance and infringement of basic rights to privacy.

the film is set in the future, when America has lost the war against drugs. it features a dystopic society characterized by a high-tech police surveillance system to combat the widespread drug addiction epidemic.

Philip K. Dick, in the bonus track in my dvd copy, attested that his novel was meant as a political satire against the then infamous witch hunts by US President Nixon, of which he and his Socialist-Communist girlfriend were victims.

Director Linklater, for his part, said that apart from the obvious commentary on drug culture and drug abuse, the film is also a timely statement on the present paranoia vis a vis the war on ‘terrorism’.

or, shall i say, the poignant present-day reality of the intentional destruction of another human being/s for a supposed ‘greater good’.


“Seven years from now everything you do will be recorded.”

or three months from now, thanks to HSA of 2007.

or right here and now, thanks to this farce of a democracy called the Republic of the Philippines.


download full text of the very strongly-worded Alston report here. do read it please. i rest my case.

Retired Gen. Jovito Palparan, the Butcher and Devil incarnate, is running for Congress via Bantay Party-list. this country is really going to the dogs.

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One Response to welcome to the black parade

  1. Renegade Eye says:

    “A Scanner Darkly” was great. I saw it last year. Woody Harrelson’s father, was an organized crime hitman in Texas, in prison for murder. The cast is made up of people who have had drug or problems with the law. Good rebel movie.

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